Which instruction is better:
1. Insert events that occurred at an earlier time to complement the events in the ‘present’ story.
2. insert events occurred at an earlier time to complement the events in the ‘present’ story.

  • 1
    that cannot be elided in all sentences. The sentence structure, syntax and semantics need to be considered and only if the use of that happens to be redundant can it be safely omitted. Not in this case, where either that or which needs to be used appropriately.
    – Kris
    Dec 23, 2013 at 7:29
  • 2
    Basically, that means that that (or any Wh-relative pronoun like which) can be deleted from a restrictive relative clause, provided it's not the subject of the clause. If it is the subject (as it is here) then it is required; otherwise it's optional. Dec 23, 2013 at 23:18

1 Answer 1


The that is required. #1 is better, but could it be simpler?

Would something like this work?

Insert earlier events to complement the events in the ‘present’ story.

  • Great, thank you. Yes, I changed it to 'past events.'
    – Student
    Dec 22, 2013 at 23:38
  • You did not say why that is required, which would constitute the real answer. As it stands, it's a personal opinion, not a canonical answer. The major part of the present 'answer' deals with proof-reading/ writing advice, which is off-topic.
    – Kris
    Dec 23, 2013 at 7:27
  • I've updated the question
    – Student
    Dec 24, 2013 at 0:12

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